“The Power of Words”-Photography Quotes

Quotes inspire me, motivate me, make me laugh, make me cry, make me remember, make me want to forget. Some, I can relate to. Some, drive me to explore their meaning. Some, shed new light on an old subject. Others, teach me something new.

I love quotes, especially when they are about things that are important to me.

Finding good quotes can be time consuming. Sometimes a line or a phrase stands out to you as you read a book, or search a website. Other times, through hearing a movie or talking to a friend. But, maybe you find yourself searching for new quotes to pen in your journal or record in your notebook, and can’t seem to locate the “perfect one”.

If you like photography, and are searching for lines spoken by famous photographers, or would like to read quotes directly about photos, cameras, photographers, or the act of taking photos: here are a few quotes that I have collected on your behalf.

Popular Quotes:

Humorous:

  • “Photographer’s are violent people! First they frame you, then they shoot you, then they hang you on the wall! But if you’re real good, they’ll scrapbook you!” – Unknown
  • “A clean house is a sign of a broken camera.” – (Pinned on Pinterest from SnapKnot)
  • “My files are as organized as they could be. Said no photographer ever.” – Unknown
  • “Warning: At any time I may snap!”- Unknown
  • “How to irritate your photographer: “After you take that shot with your camera, can you take one with my phone?”. – Unknown
  • “Back off I’m a photographer. No wait. Stay right there. Now turn a little left. Turn your face toward the sun. Tilt your chin down. A little more. A little more. Now up. Okay. Just hold that position. The light should be perfect in just a couple minutes.” – Unknown
  • “I’ve taken up Photography because it’s the only hobby where you can shoot people and cut their heads off without going to jail.” -Unknown
  • “How to irritate your photographer: Ask to see each shot immediately after it’s taken.” – Unknown
  • “You might be a photographer if… You wont even share a cell phone pic until you edit it.” – Unknown

The Act of Taking Photos:

  • “You can’t use up creativity the more you use the more you have.” – Unknown
  • “Stop using photography techniques you’re told are the best and photograph what and how you feel in your gut and heart.” – Scott Wyden Kivowitz
  • “Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.” – Immogen Cunningham
  • “Wherever there is light, one can photograph.” – Alfred Stieglitz
  • “Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.”- Ansel Adams (Famous Photographer)
  • “The artist sees what others can only catch a glimpse of.” – Leonardo Da Vinci
  • “Unless you photograph what you love, you’re not going to make good art.” – Unknown
  • “One doesn’t stop seeing. One doesn’t stop framing. It doesn’t turn off and turn on. It’s on all the time.” – Annie Leibovitz
  • “Shoot what you love.” – Unknown
  • “Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera.” – Yousuf Karsh
  • “The question is not what you look at, but what you see.” – Henry Thoreau
  • “For me, photography is to place head, heart, and eye along the same line of sight. It is a way of life.” -Henri Carter-Bresson
  • “Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.” – Aaron Siskind
  • “A good photograph is knowing where to stand.” – Ansel Adams
  • “Light makes photography. Embrace it. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.” – George Eastman
  • “I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them.” – Diane Arbus
  • “Taking photos increase your appreciation of life.” – Unknown
  • “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson
  • “Taking pictures is savoring life intensely every hundredth of a second.” – Mark Riboud
  • “When he wanted to take her picture, he didn’t tell her to smile, but told her, “I love you” and her smile was more beautiful.” – Unknown
  • “Anyone can shoot chaos. But the most perceptive photographers can make compelling pictures out of uninteresting moments.” – Alex Tehrani
  • “Photography is an art of observation. It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” – Elliot Erwitt
  • “Skill in photography is acquired by practice, not by purchase.” – Unknown
  • “Photography is the story I fail to put into words.” – Destin Sparks
  • “You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” – Ansel Adams
  • “Important notice from the wedding photographer: You cellphone flashes are not helping my shots.” – Unknown
  • “Pick a theme and work it to exhaustion… The subject must be something you truly love or truly hate.” – Dorthea Lange (Famous Photographer Who Captured the Great Depression and WW2)
  • “There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.” – Ansel Adams
  • “Photographer Nightmares: That moment when your shutter fails during the first kiss.” -Unknown
  • “Sometimes I arrive just when God’s ready to have someone click the shutter.” – Ansel Adams
  • “When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls.” – Unknown

Equipment:

  • “They say money can’t buy happiness but it can buy Camera equipment and that’s kind of the same thing.” – Unknown
  • “The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to SEE without a camera.” – Dorothea Lange (Famous War Photographer)
  • “No matter how advanced your camera, you still need to be responsible for getting to the right place at the right time and pointing in the right direction to get the photo you want.” – Ken Rockwell
  • “Keep calm and carry a camera.” – Unknown
  • “There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself.” – Ernst Haas
  • “When people ask what equipment I use, I tell them my eyes.” – Ansel Adams
  • “Photography is not about cameras, gadgets and gismos. Photography is about photographers. A camera didn’t make a great picture any more than a typewriter wrote a great novel.” – Peter Adams
  • Photography Definition: The art of always wanting to buy more cameras, lenses, props, and editing tools.” – Unknown
  • “A camera is a save button for the mind’s eye.” – Roger Kingston

Photographers:

  • “Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson
  • “You know you’re a photographer if the ocean is never just the ocean. It’s a backdrop.” – Unknown
  • “You might be a photographer if… Before buying your kids clothes, you consider how well they photograph.” – Unknown
  • “I am a photographer. I am a manipulator of light. A magician who can stop time. An enchanter who can make your heart beat faster or take your breath away with one fascinating image. I can whisk you away and bring you back to places you’ve never been, to people and places you’ll never see again. I will freeze motion entirely or weave a story into a single frame. I can show you adventures you’ve not yet imagined, and beauty so petal soft and fleeting you’ll see it in your mind’s eye forever. I am an artist. I am a spellbinder. I am a photographer.”- Unknown
  • “I see something special and show it to the camera. The moment is held until someone sees it then it is theirs.” – Sam Abell
  • “The only photographer you should compare yourself to is the one you used to be.” – Unknown
  • “A good photographer must love life more than they love photography.” – Joel Strasser
  • “We take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone.” – Unknown

Photographs:

  • “A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart, and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it; it is in one word, effective.” – Irving Penn
  • “A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words.” – Ansel Adams
  • “For me, the subject of the picture is always more important than the picture.” -Diane Arbus
  • “If you don’t think photos are important, wait until they are all you have left.” – Missy Mwac
  • “The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do.” – Andy Warhol
  • “Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution.” – Ansel Adams
  • “In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real that reality.” – Alfred Stieglitz
  • “Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.” -Dorthea Lange
  • “What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that is gone forever, impossible to reproduce.” – Karl Lagerfeld
  • “Birth certificates show that you were born. Death certificates show that you died. Photographs show that you really lived.” – Unknown

Lessons:

  • “When life gets blurry adjust your focus.” – Unknown
  • “Life is like a camera. You focus on what’s important. Capture the good times. Develop from the negative. And, if things don’t work out, take another shot.” – Unknown

For the quotes whose authors have been marked as “unknown”: If you (reader), recognize the line and know the name of the individual who originally spoke or penned it, feel free to comment. I would love to put a name to each quote (and by doing so give credit where credit is do).

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